It’s creamy, cheesy, a little spicy, and the perfect dip to serve up at your next barbecue.
Jalapeño poppers are a barbecue staple, and this jalapeño popper dip is mind-blowingly good.
You get all of the flavors of the jalapeño, cream cheese, and bacon that you would expect from a jalapeño popper but in an easy-to-scoop bite.
This is a low-effort dip for something so good. Honestly, the hardest part of the entire recipe is dicing up the jalapeños – once you get past that the rest is a breeze!
I like to make this recipe on my Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Oven because I can use the broil and smoke feature for extra layers of flavor, but this dip can also be made on the grill or in the oven.
Ingredients needed for jalapeño popper dip
- Fresh jalapeños – I like to use the fresh ones because I find them to be a bit spicier, plus the texture adds a little crunch to the dish. If you decide to use pickled jalapeños instead, I would recommend using about 1-1/2 cups.
- Cheese – I opted for mozzarella, cheddar and cream cheese, but you can switch it up and use whatever cheese you like. I recommend using a medium-melty cheese. Some good ones are Monterey Jack, Havarti, Muenster, or Gouda.
- Cream cheese – If you are not a big cream cheese fan, you could use Velveeta or Neufchâtel. But then again this is Jalapeño popper dip and cream cheese keeps it traditional.
- Rotel – I like to use the Hot Rotel because I’m a big fan of extra spice, but you can use the mild version if you want to cut back on the spice level a little bit.
- Crumbled bacon – You can use store-bought chopped bacon but you can also fry streaky bacon until it’s extra crispy and then crumble it yourself.
- Garlic – It adds so much flavor to this dip and roasting it takes it to another level.
- Sour Cream – Helps give the dip an overall creamy texture and balances out the spiciness of the jalapeños
Related – Smoked cream cheese recipe
How to make jalapeño popper dip
1. Roast your jalapeños and garlic
Cut a head of garlic and place it into an oven-safe baking dish along with 6-8 jalapeños. Then drizzle them generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place them into your oven on the broil setting for 20-30 minutes until the jalapeños and garlic are soft and roasted through. I used my Ninja Outdoor Oven for this step.
Once roasted, let them cool, then peel the skin off the jalapeños and dice them up.
I remove the seeds, but you can leave them in if you like the heat. Then squeeze out the garlic from the head. It should be soft enough to mix well with the rest of the dip ingredients.
2. The cheese
The cheese will turn your classic poppers into a delicious, creamy dip. You will need about 16oz of some good melted cheese. As a base, I like to use an 8 oz block of softened cream cheese and then 8oz of shredded cheese.
I like to use shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese. These two add great flavor and melt well together.
To balance out the creaminess of the cheese, the Rotel adds freshness and acidity.
3. Assembling your dip
I use a small square baking dish for the dip.
If you want something a little easier to clean up, you can grab a disposable aluminum pan for this recipe, and it will work just as well. Just make sure it’s large enough to fit all your ingredients.
Add your shredded cheese, cream cheese, diced jalapeños, roasted garlic, bacon and sour cream. Mix all of it, along with one tablespoon of BBQ rub, and make sure it’s well incorporated.
If you want to make this dish vegetarian, you can leave the bacon out, but it adds some great smoky flavor and crunchy texture that you would get in a traditional jalapeño popper.
Smooth the top, and add more shredded cheddar, mozzarella, diced jalapeño and bacon.
4. Fire up the smoker
While I used my Ninja Woodfire to smoke this dip, you can use a pizza oven, smoker, or even the oven. I used the Ninja branded all-purpose wood pellet blend, it’s great for everything and it packs a great smoky flavor.
I find that adding a hint of smoky flavor really enhances this drip, but it’s still great made right in your kitchen.
Let the dip smoke for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the dip is warmed all the way through.
To finish, serve with tortilla chips, pretzels, crackers, or veggies. This stuff is so good and perfect for family gatherings or while watching the big game!
Other barbecue dip ideas
Jalapeño Popper Dip Recipe
Smoked Jalapeño Popper Dip
- Set your oven to the broil setting. Place jalapeños and a head of garlic on a baking tray. Drizzle on olive oil and place in the oven to broil for 30 minutes
- Once roasted, remove and allow to cool. Once the jalapeños and garlic are cool, remove seeds from jalapeños and dice. Squeeze the garlic out into a bowl and set both aside.
- Set your smoker or oven to 250°F. In the meantime cook your bacon in a pan on medium heat until crispy then chop and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine sour cream, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, roasted garlic and bbq rub. Add crispy bacon and roasted jalapeños but reserve some for topping and then mix together.
- Transfer the mix to an oven safe baking dish or an aluminum pan and spread evenly.
- Top the dish with the reserved bacon, roasted jalapeños and shredded cheese.
- Smoke the dip at 250 F for 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and hot all the way through.
- Serve immediately alongside your favorite tortilla chips, preztels, rackers or veggies.